"It's not easy to maintain eight percent-plus growth continuously for four or five years," he told a bank directors’ symposium organised by the regulator and attended by around 200 chairmen, directors and chief executives of 33 licensed banks.
"We have, for the first time in our history, been doing it for two years in succession. It's going to be tough and needs clear interventions," he said.
Cabraal said the island's macro-economic fundamentals had improved with lower inflation, interest rates, budget deficits and unemployment, making it more attractive for investors.
"Our credit ratings have improved and we're working towards moving Sri Lanka towards investment grade in the next few years so we will be around the 'BBB' mark by 2015-16," Cabraal said.
"Now there's a fantastic opportunity for all of you to use the momentum established by the government with its bond issues.
"In the last few years when the central and finance ministry team went on road shows abroad to persuade global investors to invest in Sri Lanka we always said the private sector will follow.
"But I'm afraid that has not happened," Cabraal told the forum.
"What has happened is that the government established a benchmark and there is a clear reduction in interest rates. But that momentum has not been used by the private sector. You need to make use of it."
Cabraal said confidence in Sri Lanka's economy was still high.
"We still have a window of opportunity for Sri Lanka and we need to make use of it. We must continue to aim at our high growth path.
This meant adopting a new approach and new proactive measures as far as banks are concerned with greater reliance on international financing.
"The high growth can't only be sustained with savings we have in Sri Lanka. Now we must see you going to international markets, lobbying for new funding, if we are to sustain this growth," Cabraal said.
"You have fantastic balance sheets. The rating has to be leveraged to make use of it to bring funds into the country."The rating must be relevant, not just locally, but to the person in Boston, Japan and Singapore. They must feel comfortable in investing in your bank. That's how you test your balance sheet."